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Event Features Interactive Panel Discussions

The Baltimore County Commission for Women will host its second Diversity Dimensions forum on Tuesday, April 17 at the Arbutus branch of the Baltimore County Public Library. The free event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and registration is required.

Diversity Dimensions is a series of interactive panel discussions, sponsored by the Baltimore County Commission for Women, where women can share ideas and explore their differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment. The first forum was held in September 2017 in Randallstown, and the third forum will be held this fall in the White Marsh area.

“Attendees will hear from a group of women who have experienced challenging hurdles and been motivated to move beyond simple tolerance, embraced rich dimensions of diversity and demanded equality of treatment,” said Commission for Women President Bella Santos Owens.

 Guest panelists include:

  • Vicki Almond, Councilwoman–District 2, Baltimore County
  • Karen Mazer, Founder/Owner, Synchronicity Boutique
  • Candace Breland Osunsade, Senior VP, National Aquarium of Baltimore
  • Danette Zaghari-Mask, Nonprofit and Compliance Attorney

Baltimore County Commission for Women was established by an act of the Baltimore County Council on January 3, 1977. Its mission is to educate, identify and advocate for programs, legislation, and services to meet the needs of the women of Baltimore County. Learn more about the Commission for Women on the County website.


The updated library features new, enclosed spaces and upgraded technology

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Public Library Director Paula Miller are pleased to announce that the Randallstown Branch has reopened after an extensive renovation and technology upgrade. The library closed for renovation on January 29.

Amenities and features of the Randallstown Branch include a large reservable meeting room (capacity 221), newly enclosed children and teen spaces, four study rooms, free WiFi, 33 public desktop computers, one children’s computer, and a large collection of print and audio-visual library materials. New shelving, comfortable seating, signage and updated public restrooms complement the modernized space.

The branch also features a Center of Excellence, the COLAB, which is a technology/maker cooperative space that includes items such as 20+ laptop computers, an HTC Vive virtual reality system, Microsoft HoloLens holographic computer, PlayStation 4 console with VR Bundle and games, Sphero SPRK and Ollie robots, and snap circuits. On the horizon for the branch are a Kano build-it-yourself computer with coding kit and a 3D printer.

“We thank our customers for their patience as we renovated the Randallstown Branch to bring 21st century library services to the community,” said BCPL Director Paula Miller. “In addition to books and electronic resources, this update allows us to provide transformative experiences and user-friendly spaces that make a positive difference in peoples’ lives.”

A collaborative effort of BCPL and Baltimore County Government, this $1.1 million project was funded in part through a grant from the County Library Capital Grant Program, Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services.

“This $1.1 million project has transformed the popular Randallstown Branch into a state-of-the-art community hub for people to access technology and benefit from a larger collection of library materials, great children and teen spaces, an attractive meeting room and so much more,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

Branch programs resume on Saturday, July 1 from 2-3 p.m. with the Build a Better World Science Show with Science Guys of Baltimore. Starting on Monday, July 3, the Randallstown Branch will begin its weekday Lunch and Learn series, where children 18 and under will enjoy crafts or fun hands-on learning experiences along with free boxed lunches.

Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL) has served the citizens of Baltimore County since 1948. With 19 branches throughout Baltimore County, BCPL empowers and engages individuals for a more inclusive and connected Baltimore County community, and provides opportunities to explore, learn, create and connect. In addition to loaning books, library card holders may borrow DVDs, music, e-books and gain access to our research databases. Branches provide computer and internet access, job search assistance and offer a multitude of daily learning programs for adults and children. For more information about branches and services, visit bcpl.info or follow BCPL on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Planning Process to Update 2003 Revitalization Plan, Consider Possibilities for Enhancing this Busy Corridor

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Councilwoman Vicki Almond announced that the Baltimore County Department of Planning will undertake an 18-month comprehensive study of the Pikesville commercial corridor to develop recommendations for revitalizing this area of Baltimore County. County planners will assess existing conditions and trends in Pikesville and seek broad community input to help identify opportunities for positive change in the area from the City/County line to the Beltway.

“Having grown up in the area and representing it on the County Council for 16 years, I know this area well and recognize that people have a strong affinity with this historic town center,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “I was actively involved in the 2003 revitalization plan, which helped create design guidelines to promote high-quality redevelopment, and the area could certainly benefit from some focused attention again.”

“I am excited about the potential for enhancing the Pikesville business district and look forward to collaborating with the planners and area residents and businesses to bring a fresh burst of energy to this popular destination,” said 2nd District Councilwoman Vicki Almond.

 “We are thrilled that the County is undertaking this review,” said Pikesville Chamber of Commerce President Mark Pressman, who also works as the Business Development and Strategy Director for the North Oaks Retirement Community in Pikesville. “This is a great example of businesses, community organizations and local government getting together to figure out what is best for the Pikesville community.”

About the Study

The three-phase project will begin with a thorough evaluation of the area including a review of demographics, zoning, pending and proposed development projects, transportation and parking, environmental issues, historic resources, housing, general real estate market conditions, businesses, public facilities and more. This initial background survey, expected to be completed by the end of 2017, will incorporate other relevant guidelines and designations including the status of recommendations in the 2003 Pikesville Revitalization Plan Update, Pikesville Commercial Revitalization Guidelines and Baltimore County Master Plan designations.

The second phase of the study will involve meetings with an extensive list of community stakeholders in the area including community groups, business owners, institutional and non-profit organizations and local and state government agencies. While there will be general community-wide input meetings, most will be with the individual groups of stakeholders to ensure a meaningful dialogue where information can be exchanged and discussed and all perspectives get a chance to be heard. The Department of Planning anticipates publishing draft/interim summaries to be available for public review by the spring of 2018.

 A final document will be generated containing the findings and prioritized recommendations for action that identifies which entity will have primary responsibility for implementing each recommendation. The target date for publishing this final study document is the summer of 2018. 


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017